In December it looked like Nemanja Matic's days at Manchester United were numbered. The Serbian had barely featured under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was named regularly on the bench and was out of action for roughly two months through injury.
Matic summed up the predicament himself: "I do not know what to say, I have another six months left on my contract, we will see what will happen in January.
"Maybe I will renew, or I will find something different.
"United have an option to extend my current contract, but we will see if the club’s plans match mine.
"I cannot say anything else because I do not really know anything else."
But injuries took hold and Solskjaer's hand was forced. With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both out Matic was gifted a chance - and he took it.
His performances have been brilliant and since February United have been unbeaten. In fact, his displays were so good in March United decided to trigger an option in his contract which keeps him for an extra year.
"You have to work hard, wait for your chance and use it. This is exactly what I did," he told Sky Sports.
"Now the situation is different, the coach trusts me more. I'm a soldier and I wait for the instructions from my coaching team.
"To be honest, when you don't play of course you think about everything but in my head I always try to be positive. I always believe in my quality and I know if I work hard my time is going to come again."
And since the restart he's been terrific. Matic has looked like the player Jose Mourinho signed, bossing the midfield, passing well and breaking up opposition play effiecently.
His pass to Mason Greenwood against Brighton to set up Bruno Fernandes's second was exquisite. That took serious technical ability. Not to mention it sparked a goalscoring counter attack United fans haven't seen since Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.
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Scott McTominay has been brilliant this season barring his injury and Fred has made moves to repay his £40million transfer fee - but Matic is currently keeping both out.
It's easy to praise the performances of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Greenwood but Solskjaer also needs to be thanking Matic.